Plastic-eating bacteria could help clean up plastic waste

Some bacteria think plastic is an amazing food, and metabolize plastic, helping us to clean up plastic waste.

Microbiologist by taking waste and soil samples at a plastic recycling facility, found a plastic-eating species of bacteria.



Above, it is after noshing on plastic for 60 hours. Image credit Kohei Oda

Microbiologist Kohei Oda of the Kyoto Institute of Technology in Japan, said:

“I was very surprised to find microorganisms that degrade PET, because so far, it has been said that PET is a nonbiodegradable plastic.”

Biochemist Uwe Bornscheuer of the University of Greiswald in Germany, who wasn’t involved in this study, explains:

“Most plastics degrade extremely slowly, thus constituting a major environmental hazard, especially in the oceans, where microplastics are a matter of major concern. One potential solution for this problem is the synthesis of degradable plastics from renewable resources.”



via inhabitat